The U.S. companies Amoco, General Electric, and Bechtel have announced the formation of a consortium to lay a trans-Caspian pipeline for Turkmen gas. The plan envisages laying the pipeline on the Caspian sea floor from a point near Turkmenbashi to a point near Baku, continuing across Azerbaijan and Georgia and linking up with the Turkish transportation grid. Turkey’s state gas company Botas as well as Azerbaijani and Georgian companies are likely to be invited to participate in the construction work, which is expected to last three years from the date of inception.
The pipeline’s projected length is 1,200 kilometers; its cost, US$2.4 billion. Its annual throughput capacity is estimated at 10 billion cubic meters in the first stage, to grow to 35 billion cubic meters in the final stage. The project is part of a larger, evolving plan to develop an oil and gas transportation system from Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to Turkey for export to European markets. (Turan, July 7)–VS
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